Fans' votes help push Marlins slugger up to No. 3 among NL outfielders
MIAMI -- The "get out to vote" push is working for Marlins slugger Giancarlo Stanton.
In the second round of National League All-Star balloting results released by Major League Baseball on Tuesday, Stanton moved into the top three among outfielders, which would earn him a starting spot in the Midsummer Classic.
A week ago, when tabulations were first announced, Stanton ranked fourth. But the latest wave of votes were cast, and the Miami right fielder has passed Milwaukee's Ryan Braun.
The leading vote-getter in the outfield is Yasiel Puig of the Dodgers, followed by Colorado's Charlie Blackmon and Stanton.
"That's great," Miami manager Mike Redmond said. "I'm pumped for him. I think everyone realizes how exciting a player this guy is. How much he brings, not only to our team, but to all of baseball.
"For him to be recognized by the fans is a testament to him and what a player he really is."
No other Miami position player ranks among the leaders in their respective position.
It's not often the Marlins get a candidate who receives enough votes to start. Just two players in club history have gotten the starting nod. Hanley Ramirez had a run of three straight seasons (2008-10) in which he was the starting NL shortstop. And in 1993, Gary Sheffield was voted in as the starting third baseman, but a majority of the votes Sheffield collected came while he was with the Padres. He was dealt to Miami shortly before the All-Star Game.
Stanton, an All-Star in 2012, is off to the best start of his career. The right fielder, batting .313, ranks first in the NL in home runs (16) and RBIs (51).
Stanton is the first player in club history to reach 50 RBIs before June 1.
Fans can cast their votes for starters at MLB.com and all 30 club sites -- online or on a mobile device -- using the 2014 All-Star Game MLB.com Ballot Sponsored by Experian until Thursday, July 3, at 11:59 p.m. ET. The 2014 All-Star Game will be played at Target Field on Tuesday, July 15.
Fans may submit up to 25 online ballots, but they can also earn a one-time bonus of 10 additional online ballots. To access these additional online ballots, you must be logged into your MLB.com account when you submit any online ballot. If you do not have an MLB.com account, register on the site in accordance with the enrollment instructions for a free MLB.com account.
Fans this year once again can participate in the Home Run Derby Fan Poll. Fans will have the opportunity to select three players in each league who they would most like to see participate in the Home Run Derby. The 2014 Home Run Derby will be broadcast live on ESPN, ESPN HD, ESPN Deportes and ESPN Radio in the United States beginning at 8 p.m. ET on Monday, July 14.
The 2014 American League and National League All-Star teams will be unveiled on the 2014 MLB All-Star Game Selection Show during the weekend of July 5-6, with further details to follow on MLB.com. Immediately following the announcement of the AL and NL All-Star rosters, fans can begin voting to select the final player for each league's 34-man roster via the 2014 All-Star Game MLB.com Final Vote Sponsored by Experian. Fans will cast their votes from a list of five players from each league over the balloting period.
And the voting doesn't end there. The final phase of All-Star Game voting will again have fans participating in the voting for the Ted Williams All-Star Game Most Valuable Player Award presented by Chevrolet. During the Midsummer Classic, fans will vote exclusively online at MLB.com via the 2014 All-Star Game MLB.com MVP Vote Sponsored by Pepsi, and their voice will represent 20 percent of the overall vote that determines the recipient of the Arch Ward Trophy.
MLB.com will provide extensive online coverage of the All-Star Week festivities.
The 85th All-Star Game will be televised nationally by FOX, in Canada by Rogers Sportsnet and RDS, and worldwide by partners in more than 200 countries via MLB International's independent feed. ESPN Radio and ESPN Radio Deportes will provide national radio coverage of the All-Star Game. MLB Network and SiriusXM will also provide comprehensive All-Star Week coverage. For more information, please visit allstargame.com.
A year ago, Stanton dealt with injuries and finished with 24 home runs and 62 RBIs. So being a more consistent run producer is a source of pride for the right fielder.
"That's the biggest thing," Stanton said. "I don't want my home runs to be so close to my RBIs. That's key. That makes you an overall hitter and makes you more dangerous. Puts more pressure on them and helps our whole lineup."
He's striving to be a complete hitter and player.
"Home runs, you don't really have to be consistent to hit them," Stanton said. "But if you show up to hit every day, that shows something."
Stanton is primed to be selected to the All-Star Game for the second time. However, if he makes it, this would be the first one he actually attends.
In 2012, the slugger was picked as a reserve outfielder for the Midsummer Classic played at Kansas City. He also was picked for the Home Run Derby. But on the Sunday before the All-Star break, he underwent left knee surgery, which forced him to skip the festivities.
Along with being an obvious All-Star choice, Stanton also is a probable candidate to participate in this year's Home Run Derby.